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Research Seminar "Context in Systemic Functional Linguistics: Some Theoretical Issues"
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Topic:  Research Seminar "Context in Systemic Functional Linguistics: Some Theoretical Issues"
posted itemPosted - 25/11/2009 :  17:28:37
City University of Hong Kong Dep

Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics

Research Seminar

Context in Systemic Functional Linguistics: Some Theoretical Issues

Presented by

Professor Wendy L. Bowcher

Sun Yat-sen University, PR China

Date: 30 November 2009 (Monday)
Time: 2:30 - 4:00pm
B7603 (Lift 3, 7/F, Blue Zone), Academic Building, CityU


The relationship between language and context is of primary concern in a number of functional linguistic theories. For Systemic Functional (SF) linguists, the way in which this relationship is theorized is of strategic importance to conducting discourse analysis within the SF theoretical paradigm. And yet, aside from the theoretical categories of Field, Tenor, and Mode, when analyzing the context of situation of a specific event in which language plays a part there is as yet ‘no reasoned framework to work with’ (Hasan 2009: 180). This presentation outlines some of the key theoretical features relating to context of situation in Systemic Functional Linguistics and some of the work that has been done on developing ‘contextualization system networks’ (Hasan 2009). It then focuses on the contextual parameter of Field and discusses the theoretical issues relevant to developing a theoretically reasoned framework for this contextual parameter. Reference: Hasan R. (2009) The Place of Context in a Systemic Functional Model. In M.A.K. Halliday and J. Webster (eds.) Continuum Companion to Systemic Functional Linguistics. London: Continuum.


Professor Wendy L. Bowcher, is a professor in the School of Foreign Languages at Sun Yat-sen University, PR China. She has worked as a consultant forensic linguist in Australia, and for several years as Associate Professor of Linguistics at Tokyo Gakugei University, Japan. She has taught English and History in secondary schools, worked as a multicultural education consultant, and taught linguistics and applied linguistics at both undergraduate and graduate level. She received her PhD in linguistics from the University of Liverpool, England.

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